Feeding like crazy

“Feeding like crazy” is my September response to the “what are you doing with your bees this time of year” question. Rain has increased, day length has noticeable decreased, and nights are cool. My hives are using all the syrup I am giving them. Brood production is still solid but is starting to reduce to the center frames and in characteristic pattern, the top box is filling with stores. Text book fall bee hive layout for the 3 super, medium frame, winter configuration I use.

A bit of a surprise to me is the number of midsummer nucs I currently have. I made these nucs from queens I purchased and queen cells I found. One hive seemed determined to make queen cells. The hive and I both got a bit carried away. Nuc production is not unusual as I usually keep a few around and typically get them through winter. This year I have a mix of 3 x five frame supers and 2 x five frame supers. 9 total hives in five frame equipment. My best production of both honey and additional spring nucs has been from nucs that over wintered. I plan to keep a close watch as some still have brood in the top frames. Hopefully to be filled with stores from feeding but if not, I’ll move capped stores to the top.

I plan to reduce hive openings down to a couple of inches and install mouse guards in the next couple of weeks. That should be it for winter prep.

Mite treatment appears to have worked as there is no evidence of mite transmitted virus issues and no mites when I open a few brood cells. Pollen is coming in. Hives have good bee cover and brood, fall flowers are blooming. Unused equipment is cleaned and stored. Honey is bottled.